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Ohio, United States
Happily married for lots of years to great guy, mother of one wonderful daughter. I have lots of interests and wished I had more time to explore them all.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Homeless Outreach Team, Oklahoma City

Read an article written by Joleen Chaney for News 9 in Oklahoma City about a pilot program.  About this time last year April of 2014 Sgt Clinton Garst and MSgt Paul Camacho started reaching out to homeless.  As they would approach homeless camps (usually as a result of a call in complaint), instead of arresting them for some minor infraction (which had been the normal procedure), they started trying to help them.  They directed the homeless to help.  In July of last year, things became official.  They are now part of a 3 member team called, the "Homeless Outreach Team".

It costs money when a homeless person is arrested and or taken to the hospital, so instead of money being spent that way..let me back up.  Homeless were fined for minor infractions, and when they couldn't pay the tickets/fines they were arrested thus costing the community jail time, and or hospital time for injuries and or illnesses from being homeless.  A better system is certainly to get them off the streets, so by getting them supplies, keeping them warm, and safe and getting them into shelters and housing is a win win situation.  It allows the police to then concentrate on crime and crime prevention, and gives homeless a leg up.  Since April of last year there have been 1500 contacts made and 200 placements made.  Authorities say there are 54 homeless camps around the city

As a tax payer, I would think locals would be very much in favor of this program.  As a person who cares about homelessness this gives me hope.  I hope programs like this catch on around the country.  Arresting them isn't working, in fact it makes matters worse.

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The homeless on the left is Edwards, who said prior to this, he didn't like cops but now says they are a Godsend.  No doubt he's not the only one who feels that way.  I believe the officer is Sgt Garst.

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10 comments:

  1. I like to see stories like this. People are finally getting it. What good did it ever do arresting the homeless? I never did get that. I certainly hope cities and towns adapt to this way of thinking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 200% on the mark Bunny, I feel the same way. Thanks for the visit.

      Delete
  2. That is neat that they decided to be proactive instead of negative in their work with the homeless. It does make a difference to try to get a homeless person not being homeless than to harrass them for being homeless.

    betty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let's hope this is a sign of things to come Betty. Got my toes and fingers crossed.

      Delete
  3. I agree with you 100%. It makes no sense to arrest them for something they can't fix. They don't have the money or resources. Police need to deal with bigger matters so if the homeless get the help they need, everyone seems to win

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And it makes so much sense, you have to wonder why it's taken someone this long to figure it out.

      Delete
  4. I can't find how to e-mail you-I am so sorry-I am looking but I can't see where to do this

    ReplyDelete
  5. It is so good to hear about a city helping the Homeless. Hope more cities will help the homeless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let's all hope and pray about this, proactive is always better.

      Delete
  6. As time goes by I hope this catches on more everywhere. This certainly is a better solution to the problem.

    ReplyDelete

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